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Kitchens usually sell houses but not in my case. My husband and I just purchased a new
(but older) home. I love
everything about this home except for the kitchen. The kitchen was original to the 20+ year old home. My husband promised me that we
could get a new kitchen if I could get it done under $10,000. I told him there was no way I could get
it done. He said if I wanted it
bad enough, I would find a way. I
was determined to get my dream kitchen in my dream house. Here's how I got it done.
Know what you want. I spent hours on Pinterest, reading magazines and watching a lot of
HGTV. I quickly knew what I liked
and didn't like. I printed out a
lot of pictures and put together a vision board for my kitchen.
Be your own general contractor. The worst thing you can do is hire one person to handle your
entire project. They're not going
to shop around and find the best deals for you. You will save thousands by doing the "shopping" yourself. I shopped for cabinets, counter tops
and installers separately.
Measure up. I picked up measuring tape and measured every nuke and cranny of my
original kitchen. There are tools
at the home stores and online that will help guide you get the measurements you
Stay organized. I put together a kitchen remodel tote bag. The bag included a binder with all my ideas and notes along
with a folder with quotes from vendors, measuring tape, painters tape and
samples that I've collected. Every
time I had a meeting, I brought the bag with me.
Get your DIY on. Think about what you and your partner can do yourself. I never knew my husband was so handy
until we had to work on this kitchen. He demo-ed the kitchen, installed faucets and garbage disposals. I'm happy to report they are still
working. The demo alone saved us major coins.
Ask for referrals. I called everyone that I knew that had some work done to their house if
they could give me a referral. I
also hung out at the home stores quite a bit because we needed other things
from the new home. When I saw guys
that looked like a "worker dude" as my daughter calls them, I asked them what
they did and if they had a card.
Buy wholesale. When I asked some of these "worker dudes" where their clients would get
their kitchen cabinets from, I learned about home surplus stores and
wholesalers. I could have easily
used Google but I didn't even know these places existed!
Recycle what you have. If your cabinets are in good shape, think about painting them for an
update or replacing the door fronts. If you like your floor plan, keep it. When you start busting down walls, that adds more money.
Be flexible. You may have to settle on a few things. You may have to pick an alternate cabinet style to buy
what's in stock. Or even settle
for un-painted cabinets like I did. Keep your eye on the prize, a new kitchen!
Take your time. I almost got caught up with this because I've been pregnant during my
kitchen project. I wanted a full
functioning kitchen within two weeks. That didn't happen and cash started to run low. You may have to wait to put money back
in the pot to finish out certain areas of your project. You'll still be happy with the progress
you have made.
My kitchen is not 100% complete, but it is 100% better than
where we started!